Why I became a Live in Care Assistant
By Claire Matthews
By Claire Matthews
This is why I became a live-in care assistant.
People go into care professions for many reasons, most of which is to 'make a difference to people's lives.' This is one of my reasons for choosing to be a live-in-care assistant too, but not entirely. As well as understanding vulnerable people needing valuable, continuity and consistency in care, there's something I'd also like to say about being a care assistant and that includes altruism - giving without expecting anything in return.
I find that truly caring for others with various needs requires great focus to make a difference to their life. I like to work diligently, yet quietly. I don't expect or require any form of recognition, validation or even gratitude. In fact, this is something I tend to shy away from because I'm not in the caring profession to attain such credit. I'm in the caring profession because I lead myself and my life from my heart and I've long transcended the interference of the ego. Caring for people is a profession I chose to do and I'm paid for it. However, choosing such a career and being paid to care for someone differs greatly from genuinely caring and wanting to give people a better quality of life, simply because it comes from the heart, and not because it's part of a job description to care.
A live-in-care assistant job may seem an easy career choice for some however; this is a matter of subjective opinion. Having invested so much in my own education and self-development over the years, I chose a career in care because I feel I have so much to give and contribute, which doesn't involve focusing only on a customer’s basic needs.
Being a care assistant involves getting to know customers individually on every level; emotionally, mentally and psychologically, as well as understanding all their physical and health needs and thus utilising one's knowledge skilfully and intelligently, and also engaging them in interests and activities that interest them. This is when one is able to respectfully differentiate whether the job is easy or difficult and where making a difference to someone's life comes in. A job isn't worth doing if it's done with no enthusiasm or half-heartedly.
Yet, I have only been able to get to know and take care of others as well as I continually know and take care of myself. A live-in-care assistant requires a lot of self-awareness and ongoing self-development, self-love and care. I couldn't possibly focus or take care of anyone if I didn't take care of myself and my own happiness first. Caring for others requires many qualities and attributes as well as full focus, attention and presence. It is pointless being in the caring profession if one's heart isn't fully in it or if one's mind and emotions are elsewhere. A care assistant has to be competent in managing their own time, life, mind and emotions and once this is mastered, it frees up and leaves a lot of mental and emotional space to be present and completely focus and care for the needs of others.
I don't really have anything to gain from being a live-in-care assistant, only to give. There's no greater joy in making others happy and if I do make a difference, my work is complete, and it makes me feel happy to do so. Every single moment as a live-in-care assistant becomes important and joyful. Caring for others can be likened to a flame that needs fuel to grow bigger and brighter. You only get out of it what you put in and I'm always seeking a smile from those I care for. That's why I'm a care assistant.